Lesson Plan on Identify Theft

My first post of the new year is actually a lesson plan I customized from the free curriculum on Online Identify Theft: Information is Power from Common Sense Media. Our technology office teaches what I would describe as a survey course in technology and digital citizenship and safety landed in my corner for the upcoming semester. While the customized lesson uses a lot of the Common Sense Media lesson ideas and resources, I found a few more resources and was a bit more specific on the use of a webtool. As of this writing, I am glad to see that it looks like “ID Theft Faceoff” the “game” designed by several federal government agencies to explore  identify theft is back online (it wasn’t looking so good about two weeks ago).

Too often teens think identity theft is only something adults need to be concerned about. I hope we are able to bring this issue to light with our students next semester.

Spontaneous Song in US Government

It was a first. We were working quietly in the computer lab on Friday afternoon, well, that wasn’t the first time I had ever experienced quiet in the lab, but then…  One of my students had a YouTube music stream playing quietly in the background. Nobody was really paying attention, or so I thought, and then, spontaneous song. Jamming, grooving, and singing. A strong majority of my students. Sort of like an audio flash mob. It was a great way to end a day, and the week for that matter.  The song?  Rolling in the Deep, of course.

One of my students said, “I sort of want to take out my phone and get a video of this one.”  It really was great.

YouTube, where would we be without you?

After GFW’s iPad Day

So the last post mentioned a site-visit to GFW to see the iPads in action. It was an interesting day. My most significant take-away was pride in our own faculty. They are trying so many things with technology and do not have 1:1 access at this point. From wikis and Google Sites to Google docs projects, making iMovies for DNA labs on genetically engineered corn and SketchUp projects, there is a lot of activity, and more importantly, learning going on.  We have come a long way in the last three years and it is really exciting.

And we searched

My students have a habit of typing entire sentences into search engines, even Google (Ask Jeeves would be so proud). With that in mind, I set out to try to help them learn some tips for searching. I created this initial exercise. Most of the students did a nice job copying the questions into Google and hitting search. Their next task was to complete a reading focusing on the types of searches they were just asked to conduct, and followed up with this exercise which is almost identical to the first but asked them to utilize the search techniques addressed in the reading. Would you like to see the results? Many of them are posted here. I also asked my students to blog about the exercise. One of my students is really getting into blogging, you can read her thoughts about the exercise here.

I think I am going to incorporate an exercise like this into this spring’s classroom technology graduate class I teach for Saint Mary’s. Effective searching can help us all.